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How to make the most out of your summer with a busy schedule 

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

In a couple of weeks, I will have completed my first year as a college student. Following, is a busy summer full of exciting plans. I have quickly noticed how summer looks different for everyone during collegiate years. Some students have part-time service jobs, others have internships, some may even have both. Either way, college student’s summers tend to be busy. It’s easy to be discouraged and think that summers will never be the same as you grow older, but I like to think of all the amazing things that can be accomplished in this three-month span. The weather alone is enough to put me in a great mood. It’s important to realize that summer is a window of time that you get to spend on you. You may get to shadow people and expose yourself to potential career pathways, you may get to reconnect with hometown friends and maybe even have a beach day or two. 

I’ll admit, having a busy summer can seem daunting, and while I am excited to babysit, intern and work a food service job, I panic when I realize my lack of free time.  Which is why I thought of some ideas and plans I can sneak in between nannying and shadowing and working. These are events can attend, friends I can see, and trips I can take that do not require a huge time commitment. I wanted to share these ideas for those who might find themselves in a similar situation. As always, balance is key, and while it is important to work on your career and save some money, it’s also crucial to have moments where you do absolutely nothing related to school or work.

I live in the state of Michigan, which means we get beautiful summers and have plenty of water surrounding us. Even if you do not live in Michigan, there are similar options applicable in all states. Regardless of where you live, self-care in the summertime should be prioritized!

Personally, after a tough year in school, I am hoping to be outside as much as possible, and to socialize with people, compared to my school year of being glued to my computer all day inside my dorm. One of my favorite things to do in Michigan over the summer, is visit Mackinac Island. For Michigan natives, even though this trip up-north may become repetitive, it will always be a go-to vacation spot. There is great ice cream, lovely people and most importantly, you stay active while sightseeing on the motorless island. Nothing beats the cliff sides and the clear blue water. Secondly, if you live near the metro Detroit area, or near a farmers’ market I recommend you swing by the Detroit Farmers Market or the Farmers market in Downtown Ann Arbor To enhance yourself care, sport a cute outfit while shopping for fresh produce. If you’re a foodie like me, you may also enjoy baked goods, and there is nothing like baked goods made with local and fresh produce. I suggest purchasing blueberries and making blueberry scones. The key here is to romanticize things you might see as mundane or normal.  If you bring a friend, pick up some coffee beforehand and make a day out of it, a farmers market trip can turn into something much more enjoyable.

If you live in the Midwest, chances are there is a body of water near you. My town is known for having many beaches. Although they’re nothing close to a tropical beach, the environment is still relaxing. However, If you’re looking to step your experience up a notch, I recommend driving a little further to a body of water that is not in your town. For example, there is a lake an hour from my home Calle Lake St. Clair, that makes for the perfect day trip.,. Pack a bag of fruit and snacks and maybe get an ice cream cone too. There is no huge commitment or large expenses such as housing or food like there would be on longer road trips..

Lastly, something I highly recommend you do, is to tan or take a nap under the sun. It is incredibly good for you to soak in the vitamin D, and it’s a great way to help your body wind-down and relax. Many of us, like myself, have spent the last six months in freezing cold weather, barely socializing or going outside. Being able to lay under the sun and nap, or just sit in silence, has helped me relax significantly. This practice has also made me work on cultivating feelings of peace and patience. We’re all wired into a state of consumption, whether that be attending lectures, listening to music or constantly checking our phones. We constantly have media thrown at us, and slowing down to close our eyes while the birds chirp and letting your skin get some sun is the perfect way to take care of yourself during the summer! I don’t own a pool or have a membership to a country club, or even have nice lawn chairs. I just lay a beach towel on my hard wood deck and enjoy the sun how I can.

Summertime is extremely unique; it is not a coincidence that the majority of people feel better during these months. There is something about the sun that energizes us to get outside, be active and socialize more. It is important to take advantage of things that are only here for a couple of months. For example, next time you’re at the farmers market and you see your favorite seasonal fruit, but it! Make fruit bowls and eat them outside. Or pick up a friend and share an Acai bowl and enjoy each-others company. The main point is that you do not have to go on a month-long trip to Europe or have a luxurious vacation awaiting you once summer starts in order to enjoy yourself. Many of us have had a tough and busy school year, and similarly, will have a busy summer. However, that is no excuse to not enjoy the bits of time you have to spare!

My name is Sara and I am finishing up my Freshman year at Michigan State University. I am pursuing a Bachelors degree in Social Relations and Public Policy through James Madison college. I am passionate about philanthropy work and am interested in working in International Law or possibly land a job at UNICEF. When I’m not in class or doing homework I’m usually at the dining hall or eating snacks I’m a huge foodie. I love to try new foods and I especially love Mexican food because I am Mexican and lived there for several years. I also love music, Lana, Sza, Kali and so many other artists. I love going on walks and listening to podcast and I am currently trying to learn French.